Are you using your paid-for account benefits?
In Britain, 35% of people with a paid-for current account never use the package of benefits it comes with.
Nearly half of us have one of these accounts but many people are paying for benefits they are either unaware of or not using, according to moneysupermarket.com.
The extra benefits within a packaged account can include mobile phone insurance, breakdown cover, travel and contents insurance and card and identity theft protection. But 13% of people with this type of account have no idea what they are entitled to.
The monthly charge varies a great deal across providers but it can be as much as £20 a month.
For example, Halifax charges £5 per month for its Ultimate Reward Account and the HSBC Advance account costs £6 for the first three months and £12.95 a month thereafter.
When choosing a current account it's important to look at all the costs involved and the additional benefits to decide if it's worth paying for the account.
Kevin Mountford, spokesperson for moneysupermarket.com, says it's worrying to see many consumers not knowing what they are paying for and not making full use of the benefits they are entitled to.
"Customers unaware of the benefits they're entitled to should check with their provider and ensure they are aware of the steps needed to activate benefits such as breakdown insurance and card loss, as often they will need to register their details before the cover kicks in. It is also worth checking the terms and conditions of any benefits, and establishing who else may be covered under any policies, such as a partner or children," he advises.
"While not perfect for everyone, packaged accounts are here to stay and offer a good solution for those who are ‘time poor' and prefer to bundle all their requirements in one product rather than shop around."
Are paid-for accounts really worth the cost you pay? Check out our guide.
A current account that charges a monthly fee in return for a “package” of additional services, such as travel insurance, credit card protection, mobile phone insurance, identity theft insurance, car breakdown cover or a “concierge service” that will book airline and theatre tickets or restaurant tables. However, many consumer experts say the features are overpriced and that more competitive deals exist elsewhere in the market and that very few packaged account holders actually take advantage of the features.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.
Does exactly what it says on the tin: covers the contents of your home for theft and damage and also may insure certain possessions (jewellery, cycles) outside of the home. Things to watch for include the excess and also the maximum payout on individual items. Another grey area is kitchen fittings, as some contents policies say these are not contents but part of the fabric of the property and covered by buildings insurance and some buildings policies don’t cover them because they regard them as contents.